Introducing the Remembrance Edition for Project Life

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

My dear friends, I cannot believe that I am actually writing this blog post. Today, Becky Higgins will be announcing a new Project Life mini kit on her blog: the Remembrance Edition. And as surreal as it is for me to say this, it was designed by me.

Little ole me.

It all began some six months when I was chatting to another mum on the AUS/NZ Project Life Facebook group who had also lost a baby. At the time, she was looking for a kit of some sort to document her journey. Neither of us knew of any, and I candidly suggested that perhaps I could design something for the both of us. She thought that that would be a lovely idea, and so I popped it on my ever-growing projects list.

Over the next couple of months, Rick and I would talk about it here and there and we both agreed that it would be a nice thing to do. One day, out of nowhere, I found myself wondering whether Becky would actually be interested in having something like this as part of her product line. I decided to reach out to Kari, Becky’s lovely Marketing Director, whom I had gotten to know a little since becoming part of the 2013 Creative Team. In an email that would signal the beginning of this wonderful project, I very tentatively asked her whether there was any possibility of working together to develop a special Project Life digital kit for the babyloss community. There were so many of us, I told her, yet there really wasn’t anything out there…

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

It didn’t take long for Kari to reply. She already knew about Cameron from my blog, and so she understood exactly where I was coming from. I tell you, Kari is one of the loveliest people whom I have met online and I honestly wish we lived closer to each other so that I can meet her in person. But anyway, she said that she would talk to Becky about it and get back to me. I can’t tell you how much I held my breath in the days that followed…

In just over a week, I saw an email from Kari in my inbox and I almost jumped out of my skin. I opened it and saw the happiest reply: Becky liked the idea and would love to see some sample cards from me as a first step to possibly making all this become a reality. Even though there was no official commitment yet as such, I was nonetheless thrilled that Becky was interested in seeing some concepts. As timing would have it, however, Trish and I had just sold out our first Life:Captured workshop and so began two months of dedicating almost all my spare time to prepare for the event.

Finally, towards the end of August, after we finished winding down from the workshop, I sat down and began sketching out my concepts for Becky. I’d already been a working on a mood board, and so I had a pretty rough idea of what I wanted the kit to look like. Still, it was nerve-wrecking putting the concepts together because I knew I was proposing something quite different and I had no idea how Becky and Kari would respond. When Becky herself wrote back personally to say that they loved it and would love for the project to go ahead, I was simply over the moon.

Obviously, I was happy that I would get to design this very special edition of Project Life.

But more than that, I was just so encouraged that Becky and her team felt that something like this was worth creating.

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

As you may have already noticed, my concept for this edition is quite different to other Project Life kits. The main difference being that I’ve used my photography in these designs, which I know is somewhat of a unique approach. 

The reason for this is simple: When you’ve lost a child, the documentation process is quite different to when you’re documenting the life of a child that’s alive. Apart from the photos that we have of Cameron on the day he was born, we have no more photos of him. There are no baby toes to photograph, no milestones to capture on your camera, no candid shots of the parent holding or feeding the baby… We have only our grief, our tears, and ultimately, our words. So while all the other Project Life kits are graphically designed to complement people’s photos, I’ve adopted almost the opposite approach: cards with beautiful imagery to complement a grieving mother’s (or father’s) journaling.

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

In terms of the wording, I wanted to avoid trite sentiments like ‘everything will be okay’ or ‘keep smiling’ or ‘stay positive.’ Such words are meaningless when you are grieving for your child. Instead, I’ve written words that I think are true. And real. Simple truths like ‘it hurts’ and ‘taking it one day at a time’ and ‘missing you.’ Heartfelt truths.

With the journaling cards, I wrote down prompts that I felt might help a mother who’s grieving to articulate what she feels. To encourage her to document her pain, and her tears. Grief can be so all-consuming that sometimes it’s easy to just bottle it all inside. But writing it down, journaling one’s pain, is so crucial to the grieving process. If I had not written, if I had not journaled as I’d done after Cameron died, I would’ve found it so much harder to cope with my grief. An empty notebook, however, can be confronting so hopefully these smaller journaling cards can help parents express their sorrow a few sentences at a time.

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

After Cameron died, writing was one of my lifelines. There is no doubt in my mind that ‘writing my heart out’ helped sustain me through each day. Six years on, I actually cannot imagine not having my journey documented through my journaling. Those words that I wrote in the throes of my grief are utterly precious to me today. They can be hard to read, that’s true, but they are a true reflection of our journey. Of that time of grieving for Cameron. And because of that, they are beautiful words to me. To have my pain, love, tears, grief, and struggles recorded for me to revisit at any time is a bit part of my tie to Cameron now.

And so, I guess, it is my hope that this Remembrance Edition might somehow help other people to do the same: to give their sorrow words.

Even though there are a few cards that are specific to losing a baby, when I was designing the kit, I actually had in mind anybody who has ever lost someone they loved…

The Remembrance Edition (Project Life), by Rhonda Mason/Pink Ronnie (www.pinkronnie.com)

Right now, as I write this blog post, I can’t help but shed tears. It overwhelms me to think of everybody in the world who has suffered the horrendous pain of losing a child. My heart goes out to all of you. You are not alone. We are not alone.

To my own little guy, Cameron Angus Mason, this entire project was for you.

I miss you like mad, and I will never, ever cease weeping and longing for you.

You are loved. Always.

* * *

Note that you can click on any of the images above for a bigger version.

If you would like to see the entire collection of cards in the Remembrance Edition, you can visit my Facebook page and click on Albums.

And lastly, I printed my cards on matt photo paper and they turned out beautifully.

74 comments

allison October 24, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Wow- I don’t even know what to say. These cards are beautiful, and so is your story. I’ve only been following you for about a month so I don’t know your whole story, but I think this set is absolutely wonderful. Congrats on this beautiful work, and hugs for your loss.

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Angel Li October 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Beautiful. You did a great job R

Xoxo A

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Tonia Kemp October 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Absolutely adore every aspect of this. Complete admiration for the courage to reach out to so many who publically and/or privately share these exact sentiments.

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Fiona October 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

This is just beautiful. So well thought through and beautiful photography. Congratulations on a lovely kit that will hopefully help many people through their grief!

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Elizabeth October 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

This is wonderful, Ronnie. Just passed the news along to someone!

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Melody October 24, 2013 at 3:06 pm

….so, so beautiful. Not only the design, the photographs, the way the elements are woven together, but the way you are using your gifts and your story to help others. This is beautiful work.

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Anika October 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

This is really lovely, as all your work is. I think this project is particularly stunning.

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linussally October 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Glad to know you’re able to design for Project Life something so dear to your heart. This edition is so you – simple but beautiful background, colours, and typography. Hope to see many more PL editions designed by you!

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Deirdre October 24, 2013 at 3:28 pm

This is so lovely. Thank you for sharing your own photography in the project. I lost my mother last spring, and I know I will find it helpful to have these options to use in my album—sometimes an image, even without words, can capture how we’re feeling. I don’t want to include a lot of my sadness and grief in our family album but the whole project has lost some of the joy it held for me because it hasn’t felt accurate—it has been a hard year, and just the option to have our pages reflect part of that will be a gift. And I have to believe, a gift to my own children some day—as I wish I knew more about how my mother and her mother dealt with their own experiences of loss. Thanks again.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

Oh Deirdre, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story here, and I do hope that this edition might help you in documenting your loss and grief…
Love,
Ronnie xo

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Nirupama October 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Thank you Ronnie. I lost a baby in April and have been wanting to document a lot of things. Mostly our love, how that will never die. Your Cameron and your words about him have touched me so much. I have been reading your story silently for months but I have been praying.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:25 am

My heartfelt condolences Nirupama, I had no idea. I am so, so sorry….
Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you also.
Ronnie xo

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stephanie October 24, 2013 at 3:34 pm

This is absolutely gorgeous. So beautiful and well-thought out. Though it’s specifically created for loss, I can see how this would be beautiful in an album anytime you are wanting to journal any season of hardship with the simple pages and photos where there just aren’t happy pictures to capture the time (illness, job loss, etc.) Well done, indeed.

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simplypearl October 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

congratulations. they are beautiful. and i love that you are honest and real about your grief.

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Donna G. October 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Good grief. This makes me cry. What a beautiful idea, Ronnie. You could have made your own album, but you took the time to make your vision available for other parents who have suffered the same tragic loss. God bless you, Ronnie!

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Manda October 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm

This is amazing Ronnie. Beautiful concept from start to finish. You should be proud. :) :)

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Rachel @ open heart October 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Wow, I had tears in my eyes as I read this. I work with grieving youth and adults and being able to share that grief in words is so powerful. Thank you for having the courage to step out and offer this to others. Grace and peace, Rachel.

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rooth October 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Congratulations and thank you for channeling your experience and emotions into an avenue that will help others as they deal with loss. It is beautifully done and you can tell there’s a lot of love put in every single bit

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lea October 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

This is amazing Ronnie. So beautiful I can hardly put into words HOW beautiful I find these cards. I know you designed them for a very specific purpose and with people in mind who went through or are going through a terrible time, but I find your designs so wonderful I wish one could use them for a different purpose, to make a journal of a more intimate kind than an open-for-everyone PL perhaps. I’m not sure though, having your and Cameron’s story in mind when looking at these pictures would maybe make if feel wrong to “abuse” your work for something else than it was intended. In any way you’ve done wonderful job designing these.

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Pink Ronnie October 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Lea,
Not at all.
So much of this is about helping everybody to acknowledge sadness and grief in life. After all, it is as much a part of life as anything else.
Ronnie xo

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Marie October 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Beautiful! You did a wonderful job!

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Donna M October 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm

This is beautiful Ronnie! The whole concept in fact. My sister in law lost her daughter at 12 hours old and to be able to document it with these would have been perfect for her to help her through the struggle.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:27 am

Oh Donna, that is absolutely heartbreaking.
Please pass on my love and condolences to your sister in law….
Ronnie xo

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Lisa October 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm

amazing x

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Lucy October 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm

So beautiful. So necessary. What an inspiration you are.

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Stephanie Baxter October 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Rhonda, this kit is so beautiful and made even more so because of the story behind it. I’ve been going back and forth trying to figure out how to document the story of my Dad’s cancer diagnosis and I feel like this is the way to go. Thank you for giving people an authentic way to document the things in life that are so painful.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

I’m really sorry to hear about your dad, Steph.
Much love,
Ronnie xo

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Kirsty October 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Ronnie, I’m so proud of you and this collection. It is truly beautiful and moving.

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Jenna October 24, 2013 at 8:35 pm

This is wonderful! Such a beautiful collection and such a special way to honor so many other lives that deserve to be remembered. Such a lovely concept of just talk a card at a time to journal rather than facing that intimidating empty journal. As always, you are an inspiration!

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Petrice October 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Ronnie, congratulations on the release of this edition. It’s beautiful and would be such a lovely part of the grieving process working with such an elegant product.

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roguebuffy38 October 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I can only imagine the “joy” you must feel that you’re created a kit that honours Cameron’s memory. It’s wonderful. XO

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Kate Goldsby October 24, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Ronnie, these are stunning, without any prompts as to their origin, absolutely stunning. When you described their journey and purpose, I saw it perfectly. I am so glad this opportunity arose, such a beautiful result.

Kate xx

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Kristina October 24, 2013 at 9:49 pm

How wonderful and beautiful, sweet Ronnie! So happy that it all came about. What a wonderful gift you are giving so many women. BIG hugs, my friend!

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Sarah October 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Thank you Ronnie… I am speechless. Finally, just what I was looking for to document my memories of Elinor. They’re perfect.
Sarah xo

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

Sarah,
You don’t know how much joy it brings me to read this message of yours.
Thinking of you and your Elinor…
Ronnie xo

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Bron October 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Huge congratulations that is such a beautiful project….I am so glad I documented our big girls life it is different to losing a little one but the grief process is the same……thoughts are with you today as you both celebrate and remember. xxxx

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Jenny October 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

I commented on instagram but I had to leave a comment here after seeing the whole thing. You have done an incredible incredible job with this!

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Natalie Martinez October 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I absolutely love this kit you’ve created. What a wonderful gift to give the world, Ronnie.

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Anthea October 25, 2013 at 1:40 am

Ronnie, so beautiful and heartfelt! What a beautiful gift you have given. Ax

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Lara October 25, 2013 at 1:59 am

Beautiful and touching. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and reading about your boys, all 5 of them. The Remembrance Edition is a huge accomplishment for you, not only as a designer but also as a mum! My sincere congratulations to you!! Lara xx

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Lynley Johnson October 25, 2013 at 2:18 am

This is simply beautiful! Such a lovely and special collection!

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Diane October 25, 2013 at 2:24 am

what a gift you have created for others out of your own grief and sorrow.

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jodi October 25, 2013 at 4:50 am

SO proud of you for creating such beauty…and for mamas that need it most x

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Siobhan Jeffeson October 25, 2013 at 5:09 am

Ronnie,

I could not believe seeing these this morning! I have long admired your photography and your manner in dealing with your loss of Cameron, it is so obvious that he is so blessed to have you as his mum and so very loved by you each and every day.
Having also lost my first child I have connected so often with your feelings and descriptions of what you are dealing with and sat crying along with you. I have not been able to sit and document Michaela’s life yet ( 12 years ago) but have a treasure box of bits and pieces and some photos (she was only 4 days old). I have had it on my heart to do this sooner than later. I think it is really important for my 3 other children, my husband and me to be able to look at her life and celebrate who she was and that we will be with her in Heaven one day.
I am so excited to get my hands on this kit so that I can sit and celebrate my beautiful girls life and have it on a shelf with all the other memories that we treasure. It is perfect, allowing us to document the very real feelings that we went through and continue to go through every year that goes by. It is classic, subtle and just what I need (so much that is around just has not felt “right” for some reason). I know now why I have not found anything, I was meant to wait for this kit.
Well done on such a special and beautiful kit.
God bless you and your family every day and especially on the days when you feel extra close to Cameron.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

Siobhan,
Your message literally left me sobbing. I’m sorry I didn’t know about Michaela. I’m sorry that she is no longer here with you and your family…
You don’t know how much it means to me that you will be using this edition to document her precious life. I am so glad I got to meet you earlier this year at the Craft Expo. Thank you for your kind words.
Ronnie xo

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Julie October 25, 2013 at 8:29 am

Ronnie
Congratulations
I remembering reading the FB post that started it all and thinking what a great idea. I had late miscarriages back in the day when I was doing traditional scrapbooking and never knew what to do especially as I had already scrapbooked telling our families our “good ” news -so I just made a page of the flowers that we got and always meant to go back and journal about the process – a kit like this at that time would have meant so much to me :)
And having been to 3 funerals in the last 3 weeks I think using your cards will be a great attention to my current PL – thank you for filling a gap

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Leanne Ambrogio October 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

Ronnie – what a week! These are amazing! This was exactly what I was looking for all those years ago when we lost Laura – I have a very simple book I put together with the handful of photos we have but this would have been the perfect addition! You are amazing and after spending the day with you Wednesday even more of a wonderful inspiration! Much love and continued success. Leanne xxxx

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:35 am

Oh Leanne,
Thank you for your sweet words. That means so much to me.
Ronnie xo

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Sherlyn October 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

Hi Ronnie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while hoping to find a way to help myself and my best friend deal with losing my mum and her child at 38 weeks in vito. THANK YOU for creating this kit, it means so much to have something to help us remember those moments when we desperately want to reach out to them and give them a huge hug but we can’t.

Thank you for always being so honest.

Regards,
Sherlyn

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

I’m terribly sorry for your loss and your friend’s loss, Sherlyn.
I understand what it’s like to long for such an embrace…
Much love,
Ronnie xo

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Jo-Anne October 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Wow, what a BEAUTIFUL, BREATHTAKING KIT Ronnie!!!!

You must be bursting with pride to have your name on this kit:-) What a beautiful piece of design work!! What a beautiful and memorable way to honour the memories of your little Cameron.

Went straight to the website and bought it:-) :-)

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Jane Y. October 25, 2013 at 1:33 pm

these are beautiful and what a wonderful way to dedicate an entire project to cameron. i am now crying. i laugh when i come here. i cry when i come here. your pictures and words move me so much, ronnie.

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Corina Nika October 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm

This is absolutely gorgeous!! You are amazing, always making us cry of joy and love

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Christine October 25, 2013 at 7:07 pm

This is such a beautiful way of sharing your talents. I’m a babyloss mom as well, and there are times that the lack of photos, and being one scrapbook short is a little overwhelming. Thank you for filling this need.

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Pink Ronnie October 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

I’m sorry for your loss, Christine.
Yes, may we always remember those precious children of ours…
Ronnie xo

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Sarah October 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Utter perfection.
Congratulations Ronnie.
Sar xx

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jane at the flight platform October 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

oooo you got me in tears here!

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Esther October 27, 2013 at 6:12 am

Quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen this 2013, and the most beautiful pictures <3 Thank you Ronnie.

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look see. October 27, 2013 at 6:34 am

Just incredibly beautiful, Ronnie. Much love x

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Marcia Francois October 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Ronnie, I’m so excited for you. Congrats – everything is simple and beautiful and supremely elegant. I love it!!!!

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Em @ The Beetle Shack October 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

ronnie, you take my breath away.

xo em

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Janine October 30, 2013 at 12:26 am

I HAVE to get this kit! I have tears rolling down my eyes just looking at and seeing all the lovely inserts, especially the “writing my heart out” and “you are loved, always” cards. I am in the process of putting together in photo form the life of my best friend and soul mate, KC and this kit MUST be included. Great job, there couldnt have been a more perfect person to make this rememberance kit than you my dear. You have a way of putting words and images together that create such moods and feelings. Plus you are so strong and such and inspiration on how to go on even when your heart is forever broken and to never forget or move on from our most loved ones, especially those we miss everyday.

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libbywilko October 31, 2013 at 5:01 am

Lovely… No more words.

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jennifer November 1, 2013 at 4:05 pm

What an incredible tribute to your son, Cameron, and to those who have also endured the pain you’ve experienced. I hope you feel every bit as courageous and brave as you are. Peace.

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Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings November 4, 2013 at 1:43 am

Oh, Ronnie, this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, blessings!!

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Victoria | Oh So Pretty November 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Ronnie, I cannot even find the words to express how I feel right now! This is so ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! I started doing Project Life a couple months ago when we were given some tragic news, and it was something I wanted to do to help me cope as well as write to understand my thoughts and feelings. It’s been amazingly therapeutic. I will never understand what it feels like to lose a child, but I understand that scrapbooking is not only for the happy life moments. I bought a kit, but most of the cards don’t really work for me, so I like you, I’ve actually designed my own. I absolutely LOVE this and so excited for you. Please keep us updated with everything! Wishing the best for you!

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Amanda November 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Oh Ronnie, I wish I could give you a big hug right now and tell you how very happy I am for you to have your own card designs, but also how proud I am of you for having created something that will help others who are experiencing the same tragic loss of a child xx

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Lisa January 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Are they still available? This is going to be a must have for my PL albums x

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Pink Ronnie January 23, 2014 at 2:38 am

Yes, absolutely! Just go to http://digitalprojectlife.com and click on Mini Kits.
Ronnie xo

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I love hearing from you!

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